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Revealed: Best place to live in UK

Monday 2nd April 2012

Residents of East Cambridgeshire have the best quality of life of any rural area in Great Britain, according to the latest Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey.

In fact, Cambridgeshire occupies two of the top three positions, with neighbouring South Cambridgeshire - last year's winner - in third place. Wychavon in Worcestershire in second place separates the two Cambridgeshire areas.

Residents tend to be fit and well with 93% reporting general good health, and have the joint highest life expectancy among rural areas where life expectancy is four years more than the UK average.

The employment rate is high, at 79%, and many residents enjoy relatively high incomes with weekly average earnings of £707. Residents also have the lowest domestic CO2 emissions of all rural local area districts

On top of all this, enjoying a high quality of life in East Cambridgeshire does not come at a particularly high cost either. The average house price in the area is 5.3 times local annual gross earnings, which is below the average house price to earnings ratio for all rural areas of 5.9.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: "In recent years, East Cambridgeshire has performed consistently well against a wide range of indicators to demonstrate that its residents have amongst the best quality of life in rural Britain. In particular, health and life expectancy in East Cambridgeshire are amongst the highest of all rural areas.

"This only adds to the general high performance of East Cambridgeshire in employment, average earnings and low CO2 emissions. In addition, average house prices relative to local earnings in the area are below the average for rural areas, highlighting that a high standard of living doesn’t have to come at a high price."  

Elsewhere, almost a third (15) of the 50 rural local authority districts with the highest quality of life are in the South East.  The South East is followed by the East of England (13) and the East Midlands (12). The remaining LADs in the top 50 are in South West (4), Yorkshire & the Humber (3), Scotland (2) and the West Midlands (1).

Rural areas in the North tend to receive high ratings on school exam results,  environmental measures (such as low population densities and low traffic flows) and lower house prices compared to local earnings. Rural areas in the south of England typically perform better on average earnings, employment, health and weather.

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Mike Jones

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Editorial Contact Details - Conor Shilling
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